Whenever I’m pressed for time but still craving a solid dinner, I end up turning to my repertoire of whole chicken recipes. I usually try to make something different each time, but I find myself coming back to today’s recipe again and again. It makes an easy instant pot lemon pepper whole chicken that won’t disappoint. The secret to this recipe is separating the skin from your chicken in order to add the delicious mix of butter, lemon zest, and salt. You’ll then need to press the skin back down over top of the chicken before throwing it into your instant pot. Once it’s all done cooking, you’ll see exactly why I keep returning to this recipe—it comes out fantastic every time.
Easy Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Whole Chicken
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
1 (3 pounds) whole chicken, giblets and neck removed, washed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup water
- In a small bowl combine the butter, lemon zest, black pepper and pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towels inside and out.
- Using a thin silicone spatula or your hands, gently separate the skin from the breast.
- Stuff the butter – lemon mixture into the opened spaces under the skin.
- Use your fingers on top of the skin to push down and spread it evenly so that the meat is evenly covered.
- Sprinkle the outside and inside of the chicken with salt and tie the legs.
- Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot and let stand until screen reads “HOT”.
- Add the olive oil.
- Place the chicken breast-side down in the Instant Pot and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully turn the chicken over so the breast is facing up and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot.
- Press the CANCEL button.
- Place the trivet in the Instant Pot.
- Add the water.
- Carefully place the chicken on the trivet.
- Close and seal the Instant pot.
- Turn the venting knob to SEALING.
- Press the PRESSURE COOK button and check to make sure the pressure level shows as “High” in the display.
- Adjust the timer to 18 minutes (see Note*).
- When finished cooking, release pressure naturally according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Open the lid.
- To crisp up the skin, carefully place the chicken on a baking sheet.
- Broil in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken skin is brown and crispy.
If your chicken is smaller or larger, calculate the cooking time by multiplying the number of pounds by 6 minutes.